Alright I know, that title was probably not very professional. But like many of you out there, I have had the “pleasure” of reading and seeing many things on social media and TV that equally dumbfound and irritate me. I’m reminded of the moderator’s response to Billy Madison when Billy had just finished giving his spoken, short answer response to how the industrial revolution shaped society. “Mr. Madison, what you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response, were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.” There are countless times I want that to be my response to some teachers and others who claim to have knowledge.
I know you might assume I am leading into James 3:1, which says “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” That statement is absolutely true and many people need to read it, read it again, and then follow it. However, there’s something else I want us to focus on now. The world’s attention has been grabbed. People are looking for answers. Even if they aren’t necessarily looking straight to God right now, there is a void in their lives which inevitably pushes them to fill it with something. What I believe is God has caused an opening, or a platform that His people–His church–must be willing to step in and take the stage. The whole world is listening. Is the church sitting down listening too, or are we prepared to step up to the mic?
Step up and speak
If anything, I just pray all Christians get this now more than ever. We have an opportunity right now! People are open and listening right now! And here is the beautiful, freeing thing: you don’t have to sit and ponder and rack your brain for what to say. People need to hear the plain truth of the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul told the church that he didn’t come to them with eloquence in his words and he didn’t want them to put their faith in people. He just made it a point to speak about Jesus and Him crucified. Such a simple concept, but absolutely true.
Don’t overthink it. My advice: find opportunities and just share the truth. We can’t meet in person (for the most part), so use the platform we’re given. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom, etc. are all viable options now. Everyone is there, so use it. We still have some face to face (6 feet distance of course) meetings. This isn’t just about using online conversations, look for opportunities and make them, because people are open now. If the church
Find a Way to be creative
I actually look at our present, unique situation (as uncomfortable as it is) as a beneficial way to spread the gospel to people and places that might not have been there before. When things are out of the norm, people notice. Why not use this as a way to highlight and prop up Jesus?
Use this as a time to assess what is necessary and what is not
Some may not like to mess with the “system”. “This is how we’ve always done it Kyle. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The gospel has never been broken. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. But our Americanized, modern, western-world, same as it’s always been done mentality needs to be held with an open hand. We are getting a crash course exam in how to modify church. So what is essential and what is just “this is how we’ve always done it”? Don’t sit back and just wait for this all to play out. Be proactive in looking for ways to share the truth. If your whole approach in the past was just to get them in the door of the church, then you’re seeing the challenge.
When I read in the New Testament about how the apostles and those in the first church did life and evangelism, it was an “as we do life” approach. That’s a perfect, malleable way the church should adopt. In fact, in Matthew 28:19 when we’re told to “go and make disciples”, it is from the Greek word poreuomai. It’s actually a present participle, which means it’s not as much of a command, but more literally means “as you go” or “as you do life” or even “as you are following Jesus” make disciples.
This time is unprecedented. It is difficult and probably will become more difficult. But it is also a more unique situation than many or all of us have been in before. The unchanging factor in all of this and throughout all times is that the world still needs Jesus. And the church must step up to the mic and proclaim Him!